|Having arrived in Pakistan and got through customs we went to the government resthouse, this was quite expensive and it had no electricity or running water, so we showered by bucket using a torch and ate by gas lamp. We ended our evening by getting a lecture from the resthouse boss about America, Osama, and how friendly muslims are, etc, etc. He became quite tedious and annoying.|
|we had intended an early start and were all ready to leave. Jenny's bike would not start - flat battery, although there had been no previous problems. After bump starting it we left on a sand track to the road. We were to travel through the Baluchistan desert for the next two days. Happily on our merry way admiring the lack of scenery in the desert, Sean stopped. Problems with his engine - turned out to be a lookse HT lead - thank god. The idea of sitting in the scorching sun was not appealing. We came across several checkpoints that held us up for some time as at each one we had to fill in a book stating our name, nationality, passport and visa numbers. Our first stop was to be a town called Daliban - around 1/2 way to Quetta. The road was reasonable so we made it into the town in daylight. What a culture difference ! The main road through town was jammed with people, animals, rubbish and the smell only brought thoughts of the drainage system and dirt to come. There is only one hotel here plus the goverment rest house ( which we did not manage to find ) so we booked in. There was an overwhelming smell of insence burning in the hotel but this added to the feeling of hitting another continent. We ate in the hotel restuarant which although pricey was our first take of real Pakistan cuisine, a curry at last, and we also managed to find a couple of beers too - luxury. Here we had our first encounter with the chickens from hell - we have still to work out how it is possible to get so many bones in a chicken dish that is supposed to be half a chicken - two necks, twenty wings and not a breast in sight !|
|Sand dunes in the Baluchistan desert.|
|View from Sean, Adrian and Andreas's room at the hotel in Daliban.|
|Adrian, Sean, Cliff and Andreas taking a rest - typical men !!
|We left Dalbadin later than planned after filling with petrol from cans, we encountered our first problem as we left Dalbadin, the road end about six feet from a railway line, having negotiated soft sand and the railway line we were on our way, the day was to be a bad one, the road soon deterioated to rough tarmac with lots of potholes and then to dirt track were the road was being repaired, this ment lots of men sitting at the roadside breaking rocks with hammers. We had to cover about 350kms in the day and approximately one third of this was dirt/rock track, while Jenny was leading she got caught out by a combination of a speed bump (in the desert !! ) and no-grip tarmac which resulted in a front end wash out followed by a big tankslapper, she stayed on though Sean reckoned she should have lost it, 10/10 for the Biker Babe. We finally arrived in Quetta, late and covered from head to toe in dust and grime. We could not believe the combination of dust and polution that hung around in the air in the city. This made riding here very difficult, not helped by the lack of lights on other vehicles and the continuing madness of locals deciding to cross the road at any time in dark clothing ! We stayed two nights and ate at a streetside cooking facility where we sat at the edge of the road on plastic chairs. The food was hot, highly spiced and very tasty. Here we met Maarten, the illusive Dutch overlander. Apparently he had been spotted by many people here and there but no one had managed to pin him down in one spot - but we had, even if this was due to the fact that he had been ill and could not leave Quetta. We joined with him and now we are six, he being on his Africa Twin.|
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